Kevin Phillips? Frank Fielding? Who could Mick McCarthy bring to Ipswich Town?
- Credit: PA WIRE
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy is anticipating a busy summer in the transfer market as he looks to re-shape his team on a modest budget and build a squad capable of a play-off push next season. With a plethora of free agents and players unwanted by their clubs, CHRIS BRAMMER looks at the players that could do a job at Portman Road.
Frank Fielding (Goalkeeper) Derby County, age: 25 Status: Out-of-favour
With Rams boss Nigel Clough having brought Lee Grant back to the club, from Burnley, Fielding will start next season as the number two at Pride Park, should he decide to stay.
An impressive shot-stopper, Fielding is likely to weigh-up his options, having lost his place to Adam Legdzins for much of last season, especially as he was in the England squad not so long ago,
The 25-year-old is still relatively young and has a good pedigree having been thought highly of by Fabio Capello. He would not command a big fee and would offer good competition for Scott Loach.
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Sean St. Ledger (Defender) Leicester City, age: 28 Status: Out-of-favour
An established international with the Republic of Ireland, St. Ledger was on the verge of joining Ipswich last January until a player shortage forced Nigel Pearson to re-introduce him to the Foxes fold.
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The defender has made over 300 league appearances, the majority at Championship level, and spent time on-loan at Millwall last season, playing in the Lions’ FA Cup semi-final defeat to Wigan.
St.Ledger revealed recently that he is not part of Pearson’s plans and has been told to find a new club, a statement that will alert a number of potential suitors.
Would provide real competition for Luke Chambers and Tommy Smith but would be unlikely to be satisfied playing second fiddle.
Elliott Ward (Defender), age: 28 Status: Free agent
Released by bitter rivals, Norwich City, Elliott Ward looks set to sign a permanent deal with Notingham Forest, having spent the majority of the last season with the Reds.
However, an established Championship defender with Premier League experience is never going to be short of offers, and a short move down the A140 could be a tempting proposition for Ward.
The 28-year-old has had a nomadic career to date, making his name at Coventry City, after starting out at West Ham, and has made 242 league appearances, scoring 20 goals.
Lewis McGugan (Midfielder), age: 24 Status: Free agent
A long-shot perhaps, but you wouldn’t blame Mick McCarthy if he tried with a cheeky bid to lure Lewis McGugan to Suffolk.
The classy playmaker scored the winner against the Blues in March, a strike which launched a run of six goals in six games.
The Derbyshire-born midfielder has an eye for the spectacular and would be the perfect foil for Luke Hyam or Cole Skuse, who offer a more industrious edge.
However, with Premier League new-boys Cardiff interested in taking the midfielder to Wales, it is unlikely McGugan will be playing in the Championship next season.
Harry Forrester (Midfielder), age 22 Status: Free agent (fee would be required)
Long linked with Ipswich Town, Blues fans must have been delighted when Brentford missed out on promotion to the Championship, with Forrester tipped with a move higher up the leagues.
The youngster began his career with Aston Villa but, after being released by the Midlands club, joined Brentford, via a trial spell with Dutch giants Ajax.
Forrester is remaining tight-lipped on his future and may favour another season with Uwe Rosler’s exciting young Bees team, but that will not stop the Blues from pursuing the Milton Keynes-born attacking midfielder, who has scored eight times in 55 games for the west London club.
Would command a fee but any price is likely to favour the buying club, due to the player’s relative lack of experience.
DJ Campbell (Striker) QPR, age 31 Status: Last year of contract
A popular figure during his loan spell at Portman Road, in which he scored 10 goals, DJ Campbell has actually played more games for the Blues than his parent club.
The 31-year-old has endured a difficult time at Loftus Road with his first season being disrupted by injury, before being overlooked for the most-part by Harry Redknapp, during last season’s ill-fated Premier League campaign.
Reluctant to leave the R’s, should Campbell find his chances limited again, a move to Ipswich – if only on loan – would allow the striker to put himself in the shop window and would no doubt benefit Ipswich.
Kevin Phillips (Striker), age 39 Status: Free agent
He may be 39, but age is proving to be no barrier for the evergreen Kevin Phillips.
The striker has just been released by Blackpool, despite leading Crystal Palace to glory in the play-offs, and the striker is yearning for one last crack at the big time.
However, with Palace nursing a pot of gold and looking to establish themselves in the top-flight, they may look elsewhere for goals and Phillips could find himself searching for his ninth professional club.
The veteran has always been a thorn in the side of Town, who missed out on signing the then-Watford striker in 1997, and the way he single-handedly earned Blackpool a point at Portman Road in January 2012, as a substitute with his side 2-0 down, proved he was still more than capable of playing in the Championship.
Will not be short of offers.
Danny Haynes (Striker), age 25 Status: Free agent
Known affectionately as the “Canary Crusher”, Danny Haynes has left Charlton Athletic after 18 months at the Valley, in which time he won promotion and then helped the Addicks establish themselves back in the Championship.
Possessing bundles of pace, Haynes enjoyed a four-year spell at Portman Road and scored 17 goals in 115 games. He was particularly remembered for his goalscoring exploits against Norwich.
Also had spells at Millwall, Bristol City and Barnsley – the latter are thought to be interested in signing the player again – and would not cost the earth in wages.
Could act as a good partner alongside the strength and speed of Frank Nouble or the game intelligence of David McGoldrick.